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10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Dr Seuss

Dr. Seuss
Jason Merritt, Getty Images/United States Postal Service/Vince Bucci, Getty Images

Today, in celebration of Dr. Seuss Day, on the day of Theodor Seuss Geisel’s birth, (March 2nd, 1904, to be exact), here are 10 facts about the man behind the books that you might not know.

1. He Was As Much a Doctor as Dr. Pepper

dr seuss

Seuss was not a doctor of anything. He added the “Dr.” to his penname because his father had always wanted him to practice medicine.

2. He Was Not Always “Seuss”

Dr. Seuss commemorative stamp released in 2004
United States Postal Service

While the name Seuss (which is also his mother’s maiden name) was always his, between his first and last names, he didn’t use it until he was in college. He began using it as a penname when he was caught with gin in his dorm room and was asked to step down as editor of Dartmouth’s humor magazine. To continue working on the magazine, he used Seuss instead.

3. His Books Were Not Initially a Success

cover of 'And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street' by Dr. Seuss
Random House, Inc.

Seuss’ first book ‘And to Think I Saw It on Mulberry Street,’ which was inspired by the rhythm of the ship’s engines on a return trip from Europe, was rejected by 27 publishers.

4. He Coined the Word “Nerd”

cover of 'If I Ran the Zoo' by Dr. Seuss
Random House

Dr. Seuss has an even bigger impact on pop culture than you might think. The first recorded instance of the word “nerd” is in Seuss’ ‘If I Ran the Zoo’ published in 1950.

5. He’s an Academy Award Winning Filmmaker

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Not only was Seuss a Pulitzer-prize winning author, he won two Academy Awards. He won his first Oscar for writing an animated short called ‘Gerald McBoing-Boing’ in 1951. He also won an Academy Award for a documentary called ‘Design for Death’ about Japanese culture.

6. He Teamed Up With an Animation Legend for ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’

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A holiday classic now, the special wasn’t particularly well-received at the time of its debut. (Variety dubbed it a costly flop.) But annual TV showings have made it one of the most popular Christmas specials of all time.

7. He’s Had a Book Pulled From the Shelves

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‘The Butter Battle Book,’ published in 1984, dealt with the nuclear arms race. It was pulled from the shelves after six months .

8. He Wanted Kids to Start Reading Early

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The most popular book in the Dr. Seuss collection, ‘Oh the Places You’ll Go,’ was meant to be read in utero. (Ok, we let one rhyme sneak in.) Seuss wrote it to introduce a child-to-be to all the Seuss characters. But, most people give it as a graduation gift.

9. ‘The Cat in the Hat’ Killed Off Dick and Jane

‘The Cat in the Hat’ resulted from a theory Seuss had that the ‘Dick and Jane’ children’s books were so boring, reading levels were down in schools because kids refused to read them. by children.

10. ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ Was the Result of a Bet

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In 1960, Bennett Cerf, Seuss’ editor, bet Seuss he couldn’t write a book using only 50 words.  ‘Green Eggs and Ham’  uses exactly 50 words.

So…..HAPPY DR.SEUSS DAY!!!! Hey, to celebrate, go see ‘The Lorax’, it opens in theatres TODAY!!!

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